The Dutch have the urban cycling life down: no sartorial compromises necessary. Women peddle to work in heels, clogs, skirts, and dresses, and men are perfectly happy to sail along the street in dapper suits.
I know this because my brother lives in Amsterdam, and whenever I visit the city, getting around by bike is a highlight. My two children (10 and 14) pile on the back of their cousins' bikes, and the rest of us grab a spare (there's always a few around); no gear, no helmets, just a basket or two for our bags. So when I started commuting into San Francisco not long ago, I opted to ride the ferry over from the East Bay and then hop on my bike at the other end. Not only is the bike commute easy and efficient, the morning ride along the water has become the favorite way to start my day (rainy days not included).
Photography by Mimi Giboin for Remodelista.
Above: Exiting the ferry on my Tokyo Citizen Bike; the 16-inch, six-speed folding bike with ultra-light frame is $169 from Citizen. My preferred everyday footwear: Leather Buckle Boots from No. 6 ($370 at No. 6).
Above: The basket hooks over the handlebars of my bike and is easily detached (I use it as a shopping basket at my local grocery store). The oversized canvas bag is made by my friend Matt from Small Trade Company, and I always bring a small Klean Kanteen Insulated Flask ($22.95) for my daily Blue Bottle brew. Wald offers several bike baskets including the Wald Quick Release Basket; $44.99 from Amazon.
Above: I am a big believer in bags within bags (it's a mobile filing system of sorts), and these leather wallets from RTH in Los Angeles are favorites. I first spotted the wallets at March in San Francisco, but they can also be purchased online at RTH Shop. The Muji Gel Pen in black writes beautifully and never seems to leak ($1.25 from Muji). The Letts of London Diary ($13.20 from Amazon) is a 20-plus-year legacy system that I can't seem to retire.
Above: My mobile office for working on the ferry consists of phone, computer, and notebook. The Fog Linen Pouch ($22 from Pierre Lafond) contains my makeup. A Japanese furoshiki does double duty as napkin and emergency bag, whenever needed.
Above: The bike folds easily with a single maneuver and fits easily into the back of my car.
Above: The highlight of my day: a ride along the Embarcadero by the water, with the Bay Bridge as backdrop.